Depression and relationships
I've recently become engaged to my partner. When I first met her she was the most affectionate and loving person I'd ever met. Needless to say we really connected and hit it off...
She is currently working a job she absolutely hates that involves extremely early morning starts (3am most days). Her workplace is not the best environment as they are not very supportive of their workers, often putting them down and very rarely is there praise or reward for a job well done. The pay is quite poor and she barely earns enough to take care of her own expenses.
She was diagnosed with depression and anxiety during her teenage years and was on medication which she is no longer on.
In the last couple of months she has told me she is bordering on depression due to her work and her satisfaction with where she is going. She often says she feels she has no purpose to her life. She is constantly anxious and stressed about work. When shes at home alone during the day she tells me she is in bed for most of it and all she does is think about how shit her life is and how she feels stuck, without anything to look forward to.
Most days when I come home I'm often faced with a very agitated, annoyed and angry partner. I would ask what is wrong and she would say it's nothing. I would ask again and again and she would say it's just the same shit.. I hate my job, I'm anxious and stressed, I have no purpose etc.
These days I have trouble connecting with her as she is completely withdrawn. Very little affection and love, it's like she's completely holding back.
I done so much reading into depression and how it affects/alters personal relationships but I would really like real advice from people who have been through something similar with their partner?
How they managed it and got through it... how it felt while it was happening...
Thank you in advance.
I think she really needs to speak to someone. Did the meds she was on when she was a teenager help her? It could me something she may need to be back on even if its just for a little while.
You are a wonderful partner for wanting to help her. I think all you can do is be there for her when she needs you. And give her space if thats what she wants. Keep the communication between the two of you going. Remind her that you do care.
Do you think she will be open to the idea of speaking to someone? Her gp is probably a good place to start.
Welcome to the forums.
You've definately come to the right place here as there are lots of people in the same boat.
I'm not sure if you noticed but your post went to the relationships and family issues section, so if you haven't checked out those posts I highly recommend it - a lot of people sharing their stories and things that have helped them https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/relationship-and-family-issues
You mentioned that your partner had experienced depression before; what sorts of things helped her with that? Would medication be something she would consider again given that it helped so much?
Okay - and my story. I've both been through depression and helped a partner with depression so I can see both experiences. They are all very different and no two experiences are the same. So I'll try and help using my experiences as a partner too.
How I felt? All the things. Mostly frustrated and helpless. I hated the fact that I couldn't 'bring them back up'. All I wanted was for them to be their 'normal self' and I couldn't make that happen. Very lonely at times; a lot of doubt - will this relationship work out? Do they really love me (especially when they're withdrawn and not being affectionate)? A lot of confusion - am I doing the right thing? Does this help? Should I do this or do this? Maybe I should leave them alone; push them more.. it's hard. Also sad. It's not intentional and certainly not their fault but it naturally brings you down. I feel like I'm more prone to that because I've experienced depression but it can be hard for everyone I think to stay upbeat when their partner is going though such a tough time.
A lot of patience, compassion and communication. The biggest thing
is knowing what helps them and what doesn't. Sometimes people will know
(i.e. they like to be cuddled/they like to be left alone/they like to be pushed
into doing things if they don't have the energy). Other's wont, and
that's okay - but it can be tricky to find out what might help them. Try
to be there as much as you can; maybe it's just "the same shit" but
you can still listen to how work is awful or how she hates being treated there.
Even if it doesn't seem like much providing an ear or just being in the
same room can be incredibly comforting. Keep reassuring her;- I know when
I'm depressed it's just the same mindset of being not enough and no purpose.
It's the only thing at that time that I can believe, so having someone
that believes and says more than that helps; even if it doesn't seem to get
through to her. I think the biggest takeaway is never underestimate how
helpful you are even when it doesn't feel like you're helping at all. Having
depression can feel incredibly isolating, so knowing that someone is there with
you helping you ride through it can mean the world.
Finally - I think it's a given but I will say
it anyway;- encourage her to reach out. Friends, family, or her GP or a psychologist.
People need people.
Hi Pualn welcome
There are a few possibilities and maybe remedies.
Could the source of some of her dissatisfaction in life be that her relationship with you hasnt progressed further? Thats for you to consider.
Is she stuck financially that she feels trapped in her job?
Has she got the capacity to project her mind to a better lifestyle?
What does she want in life ? Children?
I think if you want a future with this lady you might need to lead the way...
Depression takes a multi pronged approach to treat.
Please google these and read at least my first post.
Topic: be radical- beyondblue
Topic: depression, a ship on the high seas- beyondblue
Welcome to the Beyond Blue forums. Thank you for posting and I'm certain your GF will thank you in the future for taking care of her.
Being depressed is really horrible, so bad that if we cannot get any respite from it we tend to take it out on our partners/family/friends. The person wants help to get well and at the same time is afraid of asking or taking action. It really can seem like heads, depression wins, tails your GF loses. Not a good place to be.
I see you have read a great deal about depression. BB has information which includes family and friends. Have a look at it in case there is something helpful there.
I found in my darkest days that I could relate to no one. It's almost as though I was looking through a one-way mirror where everyone can see in but your GF cannot see out. Starting work at such unsociable hours is also bad for depression. The person may not get enough sleep, come home exhausted and fall into bed until the next shift starts and have nothing that gives an interest in life.
I cannot say much from a carers point of view as I have not had that role. Those who love their partners want to do the best for them, help them to get well and show they are loved. It seems such a basic way to help, and indeed it is. Your GF will come to know you care, if she does not chase you away. And that is one of the problems. I see she has not told you to leave because she is pulling you down or making your life a misery. That is a common action.
I suggest you take her to see your GP and book a long appointment. See if you can sit in with her during the consultation. It can be useful to know what the GP has said. On the other hand your GF may want to talk about you so would not want you present. I imagine the GP will offer an antidepressant. It takes up to six weeks to kick in fully so don't expect and immediate change. As the AD settles you will probably see a change. There may well be side effects but she should persevere for a few weeks as these effects often go away. I have tried a huge number of AD with either no effect or horrendous side effects. It may take time.
I think it would be most helpful if she changed jobs as the frustration will not help. However I don't know what the market is with work where you live. Think seriously about this, but it may be wise to let any meds take effect first.
Not sure if I have answered your question, but if you want more or different information, please ask.
It puts you in an awkward situation, because you're not sure what to do, and no it's never easy as everyone is completely different, and each person needs to treated in their own way, where a textbook will describe the implications of what depression does to somebody, but unfortunately it can't tell you how to help your g/friend, because she may not respond to how the
You have to try and convince her to see her doctor, maybe they could give her some
You have to
If they believe that her work has been the cause of her feeling this way then other matters can be taken into consideration, that's something you need to let us know about, but if she left work due to certain circumstances are you able to survive financially, because if she stays then it's going to be an ongoing concern. Geoff.